The 3 Phases of Womanhood

Three Phases of Womanhood, The Way Apothecary

In certain spiritual traditions, it is believed that there are three main phases of a woman's life: the young woman, the mother, and the wise woman of midlife and beyond. This can be applied to how we look at the phases of your lives as women. Each of these phases is a distinct journey. Each one has its own difficulties and beauty. If we look at perimenopause/menopause through the lens of a shamanic journey, our perspective can shift from the role of victim to empowered strength.

To briefly touch on what we mean by ‘shamanic journey’ - this describes a journey into the depths of yourselves and our psyches. On these journeys, we hold our own hands, we face our shadows, and perhaps we even connect with the spirit world through a spiritual awakening. A shamanic journey is a twisty, windy road that challenges us and prompts us to heal. At the end, we meet a new version of ourselves.

The Young Woman

This phase begins at the onset of adolescence, usually beginning at the time of menstruation. Think back to this time, especially early on. Our hormones and moods were up and down like a roller coaster. Our bodies were growing and changing shape. Everything was foreign and sometimes frightening. If it’s hard to remember these times, talk to any young teenage girl, and you will soon be reminded of the wild ride of adolescence. This is the journey. It’s not easy, but at the end, a beautiful young woman emerges who has her whole life ahead of her.

The Mother

Anyone who has ever given birth tells you that the journey of carrying a child into the actual birth is real. There are ever changing hormones and moods, there is pain, there are emotional ups and downs. The rewards are beyond words - bringing a beautiful new life into the word. If you haven’t given birth to a baby, you have certainly birthed other things. It could be a career, a business, your own healing, a comfortable home, a relationship that brings you joy… we are all mothers. Think about the people or things you have birthed. Haven’t they all been worth the journey?

The Sage

This phase begins as our bodies transition into menopause. This is such a powerful time. We can look back on our past with the wisdom of time and experience. We can learn to become comfortable in our own skin. We can learn to say “no” without guilt.
Unfortunately, many women panic at this phase of life. That is because society has told us that unless we are youthful and fertile, we aren’t in our prime. This is simply a lie.
Like the other journeys we have mentioned above, menopause is its own journey, perhaps the most powerful. Now is the chance to refine yourself and leave behind all that no longer serves you.
When you feel unsettled about the journey of menopause, remind yourself of how you gracefully completed the other journeys of womanhood. Now is the time to stand in your power. A new journey awaits you. Ask yourself, “Who would I like to emerge? What values will she hold? What will she leave behind? What will she bring to the world?”
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